Two families in Prince George’s County, Maryland, are outraged by the public school system’s response after they say their children were unknowingly given treats laced with narcotics.
In one case, the victim was an 11-year-old girl; in the other, a 17-year-old boy overdosed. Both said they did not know they were consuming edibles.
Skyy Swain already worried about her 17-year-old son with autism. She got the scare of her life in November after he unknowingly ate a drug-laced brownie that another student gave him at Parkdale High School in Riverdale.
“I didn’t feel anything. But when I got home — I don’t know how to explain it — it’s like a lot of emotions was just going in a big old circle,” Swain’s son said about how he felt that day.
A toxicology report found that the teen had crystal meth, molly and Adderall in his system, among other narcotics.
“I was scared that I could have lost my son,” Swain said.
Doctors told her they were surprised the teen survived the dangerous drug concoction. Its effects caused him to have a mental break.
Prince George's County
News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.
“That was the worst experience for me, because, you know, going to see my child there, at a psych ward, and you see a lot of things there with kids. It hurt me because at the end of the night, Tracee, I knew I couldn't take him with me,” Swain said.
The mother of an 11-year-old sixth grader said her child was unknowingly given a drug-laced edible inside James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro. Her daughter came home sick and fell into a deep sleep.
“Tuesday night, I get a call from another parent who tells me that their child told them about some candy that was being passed out that was edibles,” she said she learned.
She said her daughter told her she had some of the candy. An at-home drug test revealed the child had marijuana in her system.
“I shouldn't have to have my child peeing in a cup at the age of 11 and then having to explain all of this to her at 11,” the mother said.
Both parents said they weren't satisfied with the schools’ responses.
Madison Middle School initially sent out a generic robocall to parents.
“Students are not authorized to sell or distribute candy or food while on school property, including school buses. Thank you,” the message said.
“When you hear that, it's like, ‘Oh, OK, somebody ate something, they might have had an allergic reaction,” the mother of the 11-year-old said.
Madison Middle School eventually followed up with another email and robocall that were more specific about edibles being passed out. The student believed to be responsible was disciplined but quickly returned to school, News4 learned.
Swain said she was told the students in her son’s case were suspended.
“I told them, to me suspension was not enough. My son could have died. I think they should have been expelled,” she said.
Swain hired an attorney as she works to remove her son from Parkdale High.
“What the parents would like is a little compassion,” attorney A.J. Amissah.
“I think parents have the right to know what's going on with their kids, because this could be serious,” the mother of the 11-year-old said.
A Prince George’s County Public Schools spokesperson said that while they keep track of suspensions for students who have been caught with drugs or selling drugs, they do not specifically keep track of edibles, so they don't know how many of these incidents they've had in their school system.
News4 made multiple requests to interview someone with the school district but no one was made available.